Star Trek and Boston Legal Star Rene Auberjonois Dies at 79

René Auberjonois — a long-time actor known for his roles in Star Trek: Deep Space NineBoston Legal and more — has died. He was 79.

The star’s son, Rèmy-Luc Auberjonois, told the Associated Press that his father died at home on Sunday after a battle with metastatic lung cancer.

An update to Auberjonois’ official Twitter account confirmed the news, with a tweet reading, “(Minions say: We’re sad to confirm that René passed away today, Sunday, December 8).”

Auberjonois was born in 1940 in New York City, to Swiss-American journalist Fernand Auberjonois and Princess Laure Louise Napoléone Eugénie Caroline Murat. After graduating from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1962, he began working in theater and made his Broadway debut in 1968.

In 1969, Auberjonois earned a Tony Award for best actor in a lead role in a musical, for his portrayal of Sebastian Baye in the play Coco alongside Katharine Hepburn. He would go on to nab three more Tony nominations in 1973, 1984 and 1989.

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Rene Auberjonois in Boston Legal
René Auberjonois (top left) in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

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Auberjonois was also known for his work in the 1970 film version of MASH, as Father John Patrick “Dago Red” Mulcahy in his big-screen debut, as well as for his role as Clayton Endicott III in Benson from 1980 to 1986.

Aside from his live-action roles on screen and stage, the star left behind a prolific portfolio of voice work, including dozens of audiobook narrations and a turn as Chef Louis in 1989 animated Disney classic The Little Mermaid.

Following Auberjonois death, John Stamos — who played Chef Louis in last month’s The Little Mermaid Live! —  paid his respects on Twitter, posting a side-by-side of the animated character and Auberjonois.

“Au revoir @reneauberjonois — you were the first and the best! #RIP CHEF LOUIS,” wrote Stamos, 56.

Auberjonois is survived by his wife Judith Auberjonois, a writer whom he was married to for 56 years, as well as their two children, Rèmy-Luc and Tessa, and their spouses. He also had three grandchildren.

Auberjonois’ fellow Star Trek alums expressed their grief over the loss of their friend on Twitter. William Shatner wrote, “I have just heard about the death of my friend and fellow actor @reneauberjonois. To sum up his life in a tweet is nearly impossible.”

“To Judith, Tessa & Remy I send you my love & strength,” he added. “I will keep you in my thoughts and remember a wonderful friendship with René.”

George Takei tweeted, “This is a terrible loss. Star Trek fans knew him as Odo from Deep Space Nine. We knew him as René. He was a wonderful, caring, and intelligent man. He shall be missed. When I look out to the stars, I shall think of you, friend.”

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